Delaware joins Conference USA as part of FBS move

Conference USA has added Delaware as a new member for the 2025-26 season.

Delaware will become the conference's 11th member in football when it begins league play in 2025.

"Adding the University of Delaware is a tremendous opportunity for Conference USA as we strategically position ourselves for continued success," commissioner Judy MacLeod said in a statement. "We are excited to add the state's flagship university with its rich history in athletics and academics."

The move for Delaware is part of its path up to the Football Bowl Subdivision, as it currently plays in the Coastal Athletic Association in the FCS against the likes of Villanova, Richmond and Elon. The Blue Hens will be joining a league that includes Liberty, Sam Houston State and New Mexico State.

"The opportunity to join Conference USA is a very proud moment for our entire university," athletic director Chrissi Rawak said in a statement. "With this step forward, we will continue to offer an incredible student-athlete experience and elevate the visibility of all that is remarkable about UD."

Delaware will begin a two-year transition to the FBS in 2024. Delaware will play the 2024 football season in the CAA but will not be eligible for the FCS playoffs. It will play in Conference USA in 2025 but will not be eligible to play in the league championship game until 2026.

As for basketball, Delaware would be eligible for the postseason in both 2023-24 and 2024-25 after a recent bylaw change in the CAA.

Delaware has a strong football tradition, as it won the FCS national title in 2003. Former coach Tubby Raymond won 300 games at the school and helped popularize the Wing T offense.

"We are confident that we have the infrastructure in place at UD to compete with the very best in college football and simultaneously witness the growth of our other intercollegiate programs in the department," Rawak said. "UD Athletics continues to ascend, and Blue Hen football is prepared to take the next step and lead the way."

Delaware plays No. 2 Montana this weekend in the second round of the FCS playoffs.